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UNC’s new tuition program aims to relieve students’ financial burden

Photo+courtesy+of+the+University+of+Northern+Colorado
Collegian | Courtesy of UNC
Photo courtesy of the University of Northern Colorado

Editor’s Note: Read the Spanish version of this article here.

Some students at the University of Northern Colorado will be seeing some changes to their tuition prices coming soon, thanks to a new program being introduced by the university to make attending UNC more affordable and accessible.

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UNC’s new Tuition Promise is intended to help students reach their goals of attaining a college degree without the stress of high tuition prices. With the prices of attending college rising in recent years, the new promise hopes to help students with those struggles. 

The UNC Tuition Promise program provides early information on financial aid awards through the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Admissions,” said Cedric Howard, UNC vice president for student affairs and enrollment services. “This program helps educate students and families on how to pay for college and guides them through the additional steps toward enrollment.” 

Today, we not only cover tuition and fees for low-income students, we also offer additional institutional support to help with food and housing costs. So while other institutions are just now starting to offer tuition-free programs, I’m proud to say CSU has been doing it for well over a decade. We have graduated over 15,000 students through this program.” -Tom Beiedscheid, CSU assistant vice president of enrollment and access

The new program is also focused on providing aid to students of color. UNC is working to become a Hispanic-serving institution in Colorado to help provide more Hispanic students with higher education. Additionally, the program aims to help first-generation college students.

“​​The new awarding model also addresses equity gaps by recognizing that many of our most needy students identify as underrepresented minorities and first-generation college students,” Howard said. “Additionally, the new financial aid awarding process aligns with our intent to become a Hispanic-serving institution.”

However, students who apply to the Tuition Promise need to make sure they have the correct qualifications for the break in tuition prices to apply to them. Some of the requirements students must check are to make sure they can appropriately receive their tuition breaks. 

One requirement is that the student must be a Colorado resident or an eligible Advancing Students for a Stronger Econoomy Tomorrow undergraduate. They must complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid or Colorado Application for State Financial Aid before June 1. The student must also be evaluated based on household income, credit hours and academic standing.

The Colorado State University System has a similar program: Commitment to Colorado.

CTC ensured full tuition and fees would be covered for Colorado resident students who qualified for the Federal Pell Grant,” said Tom Biedscheid, CSU assistant vice president of enrollment and access. “In addition to a Pell Grant, students also qualify for the state’s Colorado Student Grant.”

The program at CSU has been a valuable resource for those seeking their degree.

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Today, we not only cover tuition and fees for low-income students, we also offer additional institutional support to help with food and housing costs,” Biedscheid said. “So while other institutions are just now starting to offer tuition-free programs, I’m proud to say CSU has been doing it for well over a decade. We have graduated over 15,000 students through this program.” 

Universities in Colorado all have their own set tuition prices and differ from each other. While the universities do not have to set tuition rates similar to each other, programs like these will help students better understand how to attend college while not breaking the bank.

“It’s important to know that each campus in Colorado has the autonomy to set its tuition rates independently with the guidance of its respective board of trustees,” Howard said. “This means that each institution has the freedom to create a tuition structure that reflects its unique priorities and values.”

The purpose of allowing each institution to set its own standards and create unique programs is to enable those institutions to prioritize based on the needs of their specific student communities. The goal is to create a system wherein each university offers aid while creating space for prospective students to prioritize their own goals and needs.

“This approach ensures that Colorado students get the best possible education and value for their money,” Howard said.

The Colorado Department of Education works closely with educational institutions within the state to further initiatives such as the Commitment to Colorado and UNC’s newly created Tuition Promise. 

Reach Tyler Weatherwax at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @twwax7272.

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About the Contributor
Tyler Weatherwax
Tyler Weatherwax, News Editor
Tyler Weatherwax is a second-year attending Colorado State University. He has lived in the state of Colorado for his entire life and grew up just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. He is currently majoring in journalism and media communication and is a news editor for The Collegian and assistant news director for KCSU. Weatherwax hopes to share some of the world with people through his reporting and experiences. His goal as a journalist is to bring information to others in the hopes that it inspires and educates them in their lives. He also tries to push himself into the unknown to cause some discomfort in his life and reporting. Weatherwax has been a DJ for 90.5 FM KCSU as well as 88.3 FM KFFR. Some things Weatherwax enjoys doing are playing bass guitar, reading, collecting records, going outside and spending time with his friends and family. Weatherwax hopes to become a journalist after he graduates and to see more of the world.

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